California-based packaging manufacturer Warren Packaging has introduced paper clamshells as part of its product portfolio. The paper clamshells were launched within the last couple of months. Warren Packaging's Mike Dittenber (pictured, below) said the company started developing paper clamshells and sustainable packaging in early 2018.
"We were approached by a customer of ours to help develop a two-count avocado box (which is now officially making a presence in the market)," he explained. "After taking on this project and seeing the retail trends of eliminating plastics, we knew it was a good time to make sustainable packaging a priority. Since then, we have designed several different options to replace plastic packaging and maximize branding opportunity."
Already the company has the paper clamshells available in a number of custom sizes and configurations, with plans for more as the year progresses. "We currently have several projects going on with produce brands and retailers that will likely be reaching the market later this year," Dittenber said.
Selecting the right paper
To make the paper clamshells, Warren Packaging did not require any special machinery. They did, however, have to do their research when it came to acquiring the correct paper. Not only did they need paper that was durable for the rigors of the fresh produce industry, but also to ensure that the material was compatible with their existing machinery.
"We have had to work very closely with our material suppliers in order to offer paper that will withstand the conditions and environment of the produce industry as well as retail merchandising locations," Dittenber shared. "Some items are packed directly from the farm while others are packed in a facility. Storage requirements also vary depending on the product and circumstance."
"The process and materials vary depending on the product, the packing process, the weight and shipping methods, and the overall look that the customer wants for their brand and retail consumers," he continued. "We have developed options from single layer paper to corrugated boxes. All of our packaging is manufactured in the USA."
More sustainable packaging on the way
Paper clamshells are just one of a number of products Warren Packaging says will increasingly be available as more companies - both packaging manufacturers and their customers - seek out sustainable alternatives. According to the company, its aim is to be a leader in the industry in this field, while also reducing costs as much as possible.
"The plan from here is to continue developing sustainable options and grow as the trusted source when it comes to produce packaging," Dittenber concluded. "Over the past several years we have made great progress and are often referred within the industry. Aside from paper clamshells and sustainable packaging, Warren Packaging is also a manufacturer of produce PLU and clamshell labels. We maintain an NSF food safety certification which is required in order to produce labels that come in direct contact with foods and produce such as tomatoes, citrus, melons, and other products."